By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 26)
Taped August 16, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee at Bridgestone Arena and August 19, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena
Streamed August 24, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
*Unless otherwise noted, all matches started and ended with the Code of Honor handshake.
1. Dalton Castle and “The Boys” Brandon Tate and Brent Tate vs. “Dark Order” Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, John Silver. Castle talked about squeezing fruit on his way to the ring. Meh. Dark Order had some new entrance music, I think. I certainly don’t remember it being that hard of rock before.
Silver started off by posing in the face of Castle, Castle hip thrusted him back. Silver demanded he be given a Boy. The crowd agreed. Silver gorilla pressed Brandon into a hotshot and then hit him with a shoulder tackle. Brent tagged in and Silver ate a drop kick. Reynolds tagged in and got hit with a straight jacket takedown for a one count nearfall. Uno grabbed a leg to hold up Brent and Reynolds took control and Brent got caught in the Dark Order corner for a beatdown. Uno tagged in and chopped Brent a bunch.
Reynolds tagged in and used a vertical suplex for a two count. Silver tagged in and the crowd chanted “Save the Boy” right before Silver hit a snap german suplex. Uno back in and he hit a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Reynolds tagged in and Dark Order hit some tag team offense for a two count. Castle complained about the Dark Order breaking the rules. Uno tagged in and Brent fought his way out and made the hot tag to Castle. Castle came in and clotheslined everyone and hit his exploder suplexes on everyone too, the crowd went nuts.
Castle then threw The Boys out of the ring onto the Dark Order at ringside. Castle hit a splash on Uno for a two count. Brent tagged in but he was still winded. Brent tried to go up top but Uno tossed Castle into Brent. CAstle got isolated on the outside. Brandon slid in and hit a cutter on Uno. The Boys tried to dive on Silver and Reynolds on the outside but got cut off by forearms. Dark Order hit their flipping finisher on Brandon to get the pinfall.
“Dark Order” Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, John Silver defeated Dalton Castle and The Boys by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Uno had a scary new all black mask that looked good. Silver didn’t seem to be doing nearly as much crowd work and it paid off.
Backstage Athena said that there was tension between Lexi Nair and Billie Starkz, and that she made them shirts. They put on “Athena’s Bestie” and “Minion #” shirts. Athena accepted the challenge to fight the Renegades later…
2. Kiera Hogan vs. Lady Frost. The ladies traded strike ducks for a bit until they both tagged each other. Hogan got dumped to the floor and Frost did her acrobatics on the apron until Hogan got a quick trip. Back in the ring, Hogan got a one count nearfall. Hogan hit a middle rope dorp kick and a superkick for a two count. Frost slid out of the way and was able to hit a big cannon ball in the corner for a two count. Hogan hit a Face the Music (spinning fisherman’s buster with bridge) for the three count.
Kiera Hogan defeated Lady Frost by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A quick showcase win for Hogan. There wasn’t a ton to this match. Each wrestler got a little bit of offense.
3. Serpentico vs. Matt Sydal. The wrestlers traded some chain wrestling reversals until Sydal hit a quick flying snap mare and got a one count. Sydal swept out Serpentico’s legs and hit a standing twisting moonsault for a two count. Serpentico hit a flying flatliner for a two count. Serpentico hit a superkick and a DDT for a two count.
Serpentico called his shot on the top rope, but took too much time. Sydal rolled out of the way and hit a jumping back kick. Sydal worked Serpentico over with kicks including a running spin kick. Sydal hit a fisherman’s buster for a two count. Serpentico hit a cradle for a two count. Sydal hit one of his own for a two count. Sydal hit an avalanche hurancanrana. Sydal hit some sort of bending Angle slam for the three count.
Matt Sydal defeated Serpentico by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Quick fun action that just put Sydal over, keeping him on people’s minds. It had a lucha feel but it wasn’t as crazy as some of the past lucha matches we’ve seen on ROH.
Backstage Stokely Hathaway called out Lexi for laughing at him last week. Lexi said no one here in ROH respects him and walked away. Stokely said he was going to ask her to TGIFridays cause TK left his card on the desk…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was pretty funny, I like Stokely as the bumbling authority figure.
There was a quick video hyping the Samoa Joe CM Punk match at All In, but it wasn’t nearly long enough…
4. Leyla Hirsch vs. Leila Grey. Hirsch kicked away the code of honor handshake offer. Hirsch worked a waistlock early before Grey hit some arm drags and a drop kick. Hirsch hit a german suplex to throw Grey across the ring. Maria Kanellis-Bennett came out on stage to watch again. Hirsch performed a vertical suplex for a two count. Hirsch went back to working the waistlock. Grey hit a couple of clotheslines to make a comeback. Grey hit a knee strike in the corner and a DVD for a two count. Maria didn’t look impressed. Hirsch hit an ugly angle slam and locked in the cross arm breaker for the submission. Maria clapped on stage.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Leila Grey by submission.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another appearance by Hirsch and another win. The Maria scouting storyline seems to be on repeat for the moment, and I hope we get some traction on it after All Out.
Backstage, the Mogul Embassy were told they will face Action Andretti, Darius Martin, and and AR Fox next week for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. Nana said they’ve beaten them all. Kaun welcomed a challenge. Cage said the outcome will always be the same…
5. Brandon Cutler (w/Colt Cabana) vs. Blake Christian. Cutler came out to the BTE theme song, which some of the crowd sang along to. The wrestlers traded shoulder blocks and Christian hit an around the world roll up for a one count. The men did some more rapid fire reversals and Christian hit a wheelbarrow into a standing frog splash. Cutler rolled out to the apron. Christian followed and ate a big boot. Christian ran around the post and hit a springboard dropkick. Christian hit a Fosbury flop on Cutler, he rolled Cutler in the ring and got a one count.
Cutler executed a Falcon Arrow to make a comeback. Cutler started dancing and hitting elbows which he got a two count out of. Cutler went airplane spin but it left both men dizzy and Christian capitalized with a shoulder block. Christian hit a ugly running Spanish Fly for a two count. Christian hit a DVD and superkick combo for a two count. Cutler hit a pump-handle slam and took off his ring jacket finally. Cutler did the superman cover and got a two count. Cutler put Christian on the top but got knocked down. Christian hit a handspring kick and then a springboard 450 for the pinfall.
Blake Christian defeated Brandon Cutler by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: There were some ugly moves in this one. It seemed like Cutler was rusty even though he seemed like he was in good shape. It took Christian way too long to put away someone at the level of the Cutler character, who is mostly a non-wrestling sidekick.
Backstage, Lexi asked Tony Nese about his group training being cut off last week. Sterling said he’ll clear this up as soon as possible. Nese picked on a stagehand drinking a soda. Nese said ROH management should find someone to stop his group training…
7. Athena and Billie Starkz vs. Charlette Renegade and Robyn Renegade. The Renegades tried to abuse the Code of Honor, but Athena and Strakz got the best of them and sent them to the outside. Athena let Starkz dive onto them by herself and Starkz got caught. Athena dived on all three of them. Back in the ring, Strakz hit a basement drop kick for a two count. Crowd chanted “Let’s go Billie” to Athena’s dismay. The Renegades isolated Starkz and hit a double fisherman’s for a two count. The Renegades hit a boss man slam thing for a two count. More isolation and a snap mare got a two count on Billie. Billie got to Athena for the hot tag. Athena tossed Billie into The Renegades.
Athena powerbombed Billie onto both Renegades. Athena hit an Alabama Slam on Billie onto a Renegade and Bille got a two count. Charlotte hit a Michinoku drive on Billie for a two count. Athena rolled up Charlotte for a two count. Renegades his a nasty looking DVD pump kick combo that dumped Billie on her head a bit. Renegades hit a double chokeslam on Athena for a two count. Athena rolled up a Renegade for a two count and then hit her big forearm shot. Then Athena went up top for the O-Face which she hit and Billie got the blind tag and she hit a Swanton for the three count.
Athena was not happy about that. Billie talked her down. Athena grabbed one Renegade sister and brought her back to the ring. Athena wanted Bille to make Renegade kiss the title, but the other sister pulled her out. Athena continued to chew out Billie. Billie tried to pick up the title but that just made Athena more mad. Athena and Billie walked out together with Athena dragging Billie along.
Athena and Billie Starkz defeated The Renegade Sisters by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: This is a fun dynamic and I look forward to watching it build to the climax of Billie finally getting fed up with Athena. I assume she will eventually challenge her for the ROH Women’s Title and perhaps even beat her.
A video package spotlighted Adam Cole and his ROH history to hype up the main event for All In. It was also much too short…
Ryan Nemeth came out and begged for appreciation, even starting a small “Thank you, Hunk” chant. He then made an open challenge which Claudio came out to answer…
8. ROH World Champion Claudio Castangoli vs. Ryan Nemeth in a Proving Grounds match. Nemeth tried to say not tonight, but Claudio just caught him in the Big Swing and went easily 35-plus rotations. Claudio then hit him with a European Uppercut for the pinfall.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castangoli defeated Ryan Nemeth by pinfall in 2:00 in a Proving Ground match.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A quick and painless appearance from Claudio. It’s a good gig if you can get it. The number rotations that Claudio did without seeming dizzy was very impressive.
Quick replays of last week’s main event aired. Riccaboni announced that because of his win last week, Metalik will get a NJPW TV Title shot next week against the winner of the next match…
9. Zack Saber Jr. vs. Christopher Daniels for the NJPW TV Title. The crowd got into a split chant for the two wrestlers as the match got started. Daniels worked an early headlock but Sabre rolled through at one point and got a one count but Sabre immediately went into his submission work, including some joint manipulation and a wrist stomp. Sabre continued working on the arm of Daniels. Daniels reversed a back body drop attempt with a neck breaker to make a comeback.
Daniels twisted Sabre’s neck in a gross fashion. Daniels hit a side effect style move and got a two count. Sabre got a hold of the arm and hit an arm wringer to get back in control. More arm work from Sabre. Daniels got a quick back suplex to create separation and make his comeback with some clotheslines. Daniels hit a DVD for a two count. Sabre got back on the arm and got a nasty looking stomp on it. The men traded strikes in the middle of the ring until Sabre got the better of it and tried to lock in a cross arm breaker.
Daniels rolled through and got a two count. Daniels hit his STO and Koji clutch. Sabre worked the hanging ankle of Daniels to get out and went back to the arm. Daniels got another roll through for two, and then another. Coming out of this one Sabre locked in a Rings of Saturn variant hold and Daniels gave up.
Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Christopher Daniels by submission to retain the NJPW TV Title.
After the match, Daniels put the ugly title belt over the shoulder of Sabre and shook his hand…
Robinson’s Ruminations: A fun TV match. I’m a sucker for ZSJ matches, and Daniels can still put on a good TV matches every week it seems.
The overall show was fine enough. They really tried to work in their plugs for All In matches where relevant and I give them credit for doing at least that much. I really wish some of the video packages had been longer rather than going roughly 30 seconds times. Considering they cut the show this week down to 90 minutes, I really feel like those packages could have been longer. I will have more to say in my weekly ROH audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).